The latest updates on the COVID-19 pandemic from Friday, Sept. 3, 2021.
INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Friday’s latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic, including the latest news on COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in Indiana.
Registrations for the vaccine are now open for Hoosiers 12 and older through the Indiana State Department of Health. This story will be updated over the course of the day with more news on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Labor Day weekend vaccine clinics in Marion County
The Marion County Public Health Department is urging everyone 12 and older get their COVID-19 vaccine.
MCPHD will hold several vaccine clinics through Labor Day weekend:
- Friday, Sept. 3 | Julia Carson Transit Center, 201 E. Washington Street | 8 a.m. – noon
- Friday, Sept. 3 | MCPHD vaccine clinic, 9503 E. 33rd St | 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
- Saturday, Sept. 4 | Indy Labor Fest, Monument Circle | beginning at 11 a.m.
The clinics will be administering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
The pop-up vaccination clinic at the Carson Transit Center will connect those who ride IndyGo to the vaccine, making it easier for people on the go.
All participants will receive a free 31-day IndyGo paper pass at the clinic immediately following their vaccination. The Moderna vaccine will be offered and is available to anyone 18 years of age and older. Additionally, the health department will host pop-up vaccination clinics at the CTC every Wednesday in September – Sept. 8-29, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 39.54 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 3:30 a.m. Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 643,600 deaths recorded in the U.S.
Worldwide, there have been more than 219.07 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 4.54 million deaths. More than 5.37 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness like pneumonia, or death.
US hospitals hit with nurse staffing crisis amid COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a nurse staffing crisis that is forcing many U.S. hospitals to pay top dollar to get the help they need to handle the crush of patients this summer.
The problem, health leaders say, is twofold: Nurses are quitting or retiring, exhausted or demoralized by the crisis. And many are leaving for lucrative temporary jobs with traveling-nurse agencies that can pay $5,000 or more a week.
It’s gotten to the point where doctors are saying, “Maybe I should quit being a doctor and go be a nurse,” said Dr. Phillip Coule, chief medical officer at Georgia’s Augusta University Medical Center, which has on occasion seen 20 to 30 resignations in a week from nurses taking traveling jobs.
“And then we have to pay premium rates to get staff from another state to come to our state,” Coule said.
The average pay for a traveling nurse has soared from roughly $1,000 to $2,000 per week before the pandemic to $3,000 to $5,000 now, said Sophia Morris, a vice president at San Diego-based health care staffing firm Aya Healthcare. She said Aya has 48,000 openings for traveling nurses to fill.
Health leaders say nurses are bone-tired and frustrated from being asked to work overtime, from getting screamed at and second-guessed by members of the community, and from dealing with people who chose not to get vaccinated or wear a mask.
“The nurses say, ’Hey, if I am not going to be treated with respect, I might as well go be a travel nurse,'” said Patricia Pittman, director of the Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity at George Washington University. “’That way I can go work in a hellhole for 13 weeks, but then I can take off a couple months or three months and go do whatever.'”